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Naked Lunch (1991)

 -  Drama  -  24 April 1992 (UK)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 30,675 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 143 user | 101 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally murders his wife and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Monique Mercure ...
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Robert A. Silverman ...
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Kiki (as Joseph Scorsiani)
Peter Boretski ...
Creature Voices / Exterminator #2
Yuval Daniel ...
John Friesen ...
Sean McCann ...
Howard Jerome ...
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Storyline

Not an adaptation of beat writer William S. Burrough's novel but a mix of biography and an interpretation of his drug- induced writing processes combined with elements of his work in this paranoid fantasy about Bill Lee, a writer who accidentally shoots his wife, whose typewriter transforms into a cockroach and who becomes involved in a mysterious plot in North African port called Interzone. Wonderfully bizarre, not unlike Burrough's books. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The book was banned. The film should never have been made. Too late. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for heavy drug content, bizarre eroticism, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

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Release Date:

24 April 1992 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,541,541 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As the film couldn't be filmed in Tangier because of the war in Iraq, the film was shot completely in Toronto. As a result of this, some trans-light panes were used to represent the exotic backgrounds seen through windows. Trans-light panes are large translucent enlargements of a photo. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bill Lee: Exterminator.
See more »


Soundtracks

Mysterioso
Composed by Thelonious Monk
Published by Bocca Music Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Filming the Unfilmable... why not?
14 October 1999 | by (Wellington, New Zealand) – See all my reviews

This film of 'Naked Lunch' is the first of Cronenberg's Trilogy

of filming three of the most challenging literary works of the

20th Century, and arguably the most difficult... as anyone who's

read Burroughs' 1959 novel can attest, in conventional terms it

is a book without a cohesive plot or even structure, largely

assembled from the paranoid rambling letters of the world's most

notorious drug addict. Cronenberg's approach to the material is

ingenious in that he attempts to fictionalize the circumstances

under which the book was written rather than trying to weave a

storyline from the mass of twisted plot threads which comprise

the text. The cast is impeccable, particularly Peter Weller and Judy Davis

as the leads, Ian holm as a psuedo-Paul Bowles, and Cronenberg

regulars Robert A. Silverman as Hans and Nicholas Campbell as

Kerouac-ish Hank. Julian Sands and Roy Scheider don't quite

infuse their roles with the ridiculousness of their counterparts

from the novel, but their cameos are brief and don't detract

from the overall effect. The overall effect being a hypnotic, schizophrenic blend of

biography and folklore, equal parts Cronenberg and Burroughs, a

self-tortured portrait of the creative process. To the

director's credit, he relies on the script (his own) and the

performances over visual trickery or stock travelogue scenery to

set the mood and propel the action. The astonishing soundtrack,

by the superb Howard Shore, underscores the drug-filled malaise

of this Tangerine dream perfectly... it lacks any musical sense

of time and therefore hangs over the proceedings like a

mysterious haze. Haunting, powerful cinema... but most

definitely not for everyone. Wise up the marks before laying

this on them.


44 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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